10 Tips for Effective Tweets
March 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
As a rising star of new-age social communication, you may be feeling left out if you were not among the early adopters of Twitter (neither was I). Here are some lessons I’ve learned on effective tweeting.
1 – Employ the K-I-S-S Principle
Ever heard of the management concept K-I-S-S: “Keep It Simple, Stupid?” There is a lot to be said for brevity. Using less than 140 characters leaves room to get retweeted (in other words, RT @user), and spread the message even farther. Unfortunately, I’ve seen all sorts of poor marketing tactics. In one case, a start-up employed the use of its tagline at the end of each tweet, leaving no space for retweeting, and also ensuring audience fatigue.
2 – Use Hashtags or Keywords
The Twitter community uses #hashtags for tracking specific topics in which they are interested. The most popular hashtags become trending topics. Use hashtags or keywords you would like to highlight in your posts to make it possible to be easily found. Just don’t overdo it, and don’t misuse it! Take the distasteful hijacking of the Egypt hashtag by fashion brand, Kenneth Cole to promote its Spring collection. The Twitter community was in uproar, with the backlash impacting its brand reputation.
3 – Shorten Your Links
Each character is expensive real estate when you have a 140 character limit. Shorten your url with programs such as TinyURL, bit.ly, Ow.ly, etc. Each program has its advantages and disadvantages, so find one that suits you. If you’re looking for analytics data, bit.ly or hootsuite (Ow.ly link shortener is built in) may be preferable.
4 – Ad Value
Engage your audience with content rich messages that are unique, interesting, informative, and consistent. People will retweet information they find valuable and will share with their followers. Here are just a few ways:
- Sharing hot news will attract followers, but the material shared should also be focused. Draw followers’ attention with a post and provide a link to the full story.
- If you’re a business or entrepreneur, offer tips and information on products and services in your industry. Education based marketing material will get your core message across, and to your target market without sounding promotional. Offering expert advice will also establish you as a recognized authority and help drive followers to your web page, blog or other site.
- Provide commentary on trending topics in your field.
5 – Stir Interest
Ask a question, provide a statistic, share “Top” lists (e.g., Top 10 list), offer an opinion, add personality…Thought-provoking and creative tweets with original wording and information are more likely to prompt your followers to retweet your message to their followers increasing your Twitter impressions.
6 – Offer a Balanced Mix of Content
Use a mix of tweets that are informative, retweets, questions, etc. Be sparing of overtly self-promoting tweets. A common mistake that I’ve seen is for small businesses and entrepreneurs to bombard followers with sales pitches in every tweet – a practice that will ensure you will be quickly unfollowed, or worse, permanently blocked as an online irritant!
7 – Retweet
Show the love! Retweet! The best way to increase your reach and influence on Twitter is to get retweeted. When you “pay it forward” and retweet others’ content, you will likely see the same people retweet or mention in return.
8 – Be Authentic and Polite
Speak to your audience, not at them. Directly addressing followers with words such as “you” will spur interaction. When you are sincerely interested in sharing and responding (e.g., thanking someone for retweeting or mentioning you or your company, or answering inquiries), followers will feel more connected. Engaged followers are more likely to notice your content and retweet your posts.
9 – Put It on Cruise Control
Let’s face it, like most people, you probably have a regular job and don’t have all day to sit in front of your computer sending out tweets. Use software applications like hootsuite and socialoomph to schedule your tweets throughout the day.
10 – Spread out Your Tweets
One of my pet peeves is to have a Twitter stream clogged by one or several users. It’s called spam. Don’t fire out a large number of tweets in a short time span. High frequency of tweets also reduces the likelihood of being retweeted. Distribute your tweets throughout the day.
The return on investment (ROI) of your Twitter messages is highly correlated to the impressions of those messages. Following these ten basic strategies may not ensure thousands of followers, but will certainly attract quality ones.
Do you have other advice for effective tweets? I’d love to hear them. Please share them below.